Energy Industry (Oil & Gas)/Mineral rights


Hi Mr. McCall,

A member of my family was recently contacted by a landman who stated that we were entitled to money for mineral rights that my grandfather, who died in 1964, owned.  We do own mineral rights in another state, but did not know about these mineral rights.
We are wondering how this person obtained the information to contact us considering my grandfather has been gone for almost 50 years.  Also, we are unsure of how to proceed at this point.  We have no idea where this property is located in Texas and wonder if this landman is required to give us that information before expecting us to sign documents to claim this money.
Thank you for any information you can provide.

Hello Mary.  More than likely, the landman who contacted you found this interest in the unclaimed money funds of the Texas.  Money finders search these funds and do the homework to locate the heirs or owners of the property.  These finders normally want a fee as well, and in Texas they are required to be registered with the Department of Public Safety.  In Texas, finders fees are limited to no more than 10% of the unclaimed funds, and the finders are prohibited from acquiring an interest in the minerals as a fee for finding unclaimed funds.  These folks are not required to tell you the location of the property.

Go to, the Texas Unclaimed Money Fund, and enter your grandfather's last name and see what you find.  Check your own names while you are there because you will never know what you will find.  If you find unclaimed funds, you can work through the claims process with the Comtroller's office, and the procedures and forms to do this are on the website.  If you find money here, you don't need to pay the landman anything or execute his documents because you can claim the money yourself.

Should you be inclined to sign the agreement with the landman,  you need to have the agreement reviewed by an attorney before executing the agreement.

Good luck Mary and let me know if you have any other questions, or if the comptroller search didn't work for you.  Thanks.  

Energy Industry (Oil & Gas)

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David B. McCall


Questions regarding oil and gas exploration and production, the operation and management of oil and gas producing properties, and questions related to mineral ownership, title problems, and oil and gas leases.


I am Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law in the state of Texas. I have more than 37 years of experience in the industry as both an in house attorney for major oil companies and as a partner in oil and gas firms. I am also a mineral owner and receive royalties from oil and gas production. I have extensive title examination experience, and have represented clients in many administrative and court proceedings.

State Bar of Texas, Texas Bar Foundation, and Austin Bar Foundation.

Various state bar seminars on Oil and Gas matters.

I have a business degree in marketing from McMurry University, 1971, and a JD degree from Texas Tech University in 1974, where I graduated 17th in my class. Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law in 1986.

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